*NSYNC At The VMAs: The Complete Style History (With GIFs!)

Wow. Just. Wow. There you have it, folks. The rumors were true. We were just graced with an *NSYNC reunion at the 2013 VMAs in celebration of Justin Timberlake’s Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Is everyone still breathing? (Because I barely am…) In honor of the boy man band’s ceremonious return to the MTV stage with a few bars of “Gone,” “Girlfriend,” AND “Bye Bye Bye” (with the VERY same TV choreography from their 2000 performance, BTW), we’re taking a look back at how far they’ve come. Sartorially speaking.

1999 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS

*NSYNC at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images

Hello, late ’90s. For *NSYNC’s first appearance at the Video Music Awards, the group went all out with LUSH luxury fabrics. A strong fur vest for JC Chasez (plus some bicep and knee bands), head-to-toe black leather on JT (pre-dating another Justin who frequents this look), Lance Bass in wool jewel tones (and teeny bookish spectacles), Chris Kirkpatrick in a glittering sage jacket, and Joey Fatone in a full-length evergreen pony hair jacket off-set by his FLAME red hair. Classic.

*NSYNC at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: MTV/GIF: Jenny Shafei

*NSYNC hit the stage with buddy Britney Spears for a school-themed joint performance. Spears kicked things of (in a silver crop top and flared pants) with a remix of “…Baby One More Time,” but the boys brought it home with their breakout hit “Tearin’ Up My Heart” (also remixed) and looking like whatever the boys’ equivalent is to a dELiA*s catalog: tees over long sleeves, cargo pants, swishy ripstop nylon, and earth tones.

*NSYNC at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images

Everyone take special note of Chris’ inset faux-pecs and six pack AND Joey’s navy performance overalls.

2000 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS

*NSYNC at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images

For the 2000 VMAs, the boys turned their red carpet looks up even further. Justin carried over the bands’ turtleneck steez from their woodland-set “This I Promise You” music video (he also apparently took a note from JC’s 1999 banded limb book) and wore it with snakeskin and ostrich striped leather pants with a big silver star buckle. Chris, with his newly shorn head of hair, looked the most classic of the group with deep brown leather, while JC channeled his inner-Lenny Kravitz in a fur-collared floor-sweeping coat and metallic snakeskin pants. Joey’s wearing a Kiss t-shirt which is cool, but we can’t take our eyes off of the gradient rhinestone flame detailing on Lance’s denim co-ordinates set.

Jimmy Fallon introduces *NSYNC at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images

Jimmy Fallon (who was tapped to give the Video Vanguard award to Justin) was the 2000 VMA host and also introduced the group’s performance way back when. Embracing the guys’ patchwork marionette No Strings Attached styling, Jimmy took center stage dressed as Justin, replete with voluminous blonde curls and a paisley head kerchief (a JT fave at the time), with life-size puppets of the other dudes attached to a pole to simulate synchronized (in sync, if you will) dance moves.

*NSYNC at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: MTV/GIF: Jenny Shafei

Justin, JC, Lance, Joey, and Chris started their 2000 performance on stools with their newest single at the time “This I Promise You,” wearing airy white button-ups for the mellow ballad. That quickly evolved into one of the most iconic VMA performance moments of the all-time: “Bye Bye Bye” with choreography incorporating giant flatscreen TVs (which they replicated sans technology for their 2013 onstage reunion).

*NSYNC at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: MTV/GIF: Jenny Shafei

When the lights came on and the group transitioned into a way up-tempo remix of “It’s Gonna Be Me,” we could see that they had also undergone a lil’ quick-change into lots of leather, very few sleeves, and at least one buckle-laden parachute vest.

2001 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS

*NSYNC at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images

In 2001, *NSYNC arrived to the VMAs looking very red carpet Wild Wild West—brown leathers, distressed and sand-blasted denim, a saloon tender’s jacket, vest, and facial hair for JC, and some very expensive looking hairy cow hide for Joey. Also of note? JT wore turquoise neck baubles and a leather lace-up fly.

*NSYNC at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images

JT opened their performance at a gray desk with tailored workwear, pitching (of COURSE) yellow, fizzy, refreshing POP. He rips the staid office togs off to reveal airbrushed primary colors, a sleeveless muscle tee, “NASTY” in all caps drippy letters, a silver glitter belt, and a hint of yellow brick wall on his crotch.

*NSYNC at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images

Nothing about the group’s step-and-repeat looks could have prepared us for the color explosion that was their “Pop” performance. The stage and the dudes’ layered ensembles were awash with a comic book color palette, heavy leanings toward Roy Lichtenstein pop art stylings, checkerboard patterns, NASCAR details, and supermarket logos.

*NSYNC at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: MTV/GIF: Jenny Shafei

Also, they performed with the KING of Pop: Michael Jackson. NBD. (JK, that is a colossally big deal.)

2013 MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS

*NSYNC at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.
Photo: Getty Images

Finally, we land at tonight’s reunion performance. *NSYNC made a special appearance in the middle of Justin’s 10+ song medley performance, joining forces for the first time in more than 10 years for “Gone,” “Girlfriend,” and “Bye Bye Bye.” Older and wiser now, Justin, JC, Chris, Joey, and Lance showed “these young boys how it’s done” *pan to One Direction*, looking the “man band” part in black suits with white-paneled Neil Barrett shirts.

+ WATCH THE 2013 VMAS *NSYNC MEDLEY

+ WATCH A HISTORY OF *NSYNC AT THE VMAS

+ MORE PHOTOS OF *NSYNC’S VMA STYLE

Like us on Facebook so we can be friends and follow us on Twitter @MTVstyle to talk.